By Shenol. M Wilson
Hopes were high with Aussie fans earlier in the evening, going on to the first match of the world cup with their arch rivals New Zealand on their home soil. Kiwis had other ideas as they were able to get a thumping win over the World Champs and completely disarrayed every prediction going on into the match.
Aussie captain Aaron Finch won the important toss and decided to bowl first in a beautiful batting surface on the Sydney cricket ground as he thought it would get better with the match going on. Going on into the power play, New Zealand openers did not waste a second as they stormed in by throwing out their bats to world class Aussie pace attack. Finn Allen and Devon Conway were able to build up a 56 run opeing partnership before Allen got out for well-made 42 by using just 16 balls.
Ever reliable captain Kane Williamson steadied the ship as he was able to get a partnership with Conway before he got out to Adam Zampa when the score board was 125. Glenn Philips and Jimmy Neesham finished up the job with their cameos of 12 runs and 26 runs without wasting many balls as score board showed exactly 200 runs for just 3 wickets at the end of 20 overs. It was all about the anchor of the inning, Conway who was able to get 92 runs of just 58 balls, which was able to make him player of the match at the end of the game.
On the other hand, replying to this classy performance, Australian Batsmen never got going as they were bundled out for just 111 runs as Kiwis were able to win by 89 runs, which gave them the ability to get a huge advantage by having a such a good net run rate which might be crucial in this highly competitive group A.
Other than the sweep shots of Glenn Maxwell which were able to make him the highest scorer for the Aussies by getting 28 runs, there were nothing much to talk on individual scores in the Australian line up. Highly experienced pace duo Tim Southee and Trent Boult were able to share 3 wickets and 2 wickets respectively as Spinning all-rounder Mitchell Santner made his presence felt with 3 wickets in his bag.
This was completely a surprise for many around the world as Aussie were coming up to the tournament as one of the tournament favorites. Funny things do happen in cricket and this might be an awakening for the Aussies who can still be a force to reckon in coming up fixtures.
Aussies will meet the Asia Cup champions Sri Lanka on Tuesday and it will be a good chance for them to bounce back after what happened already. However ,they should not underestimate any opponent in the group A as they need not only to win, they will have to win big to stay in the competition.
Talking about Kiwis, they should be grateful with this win but still there is a huge mountain to climb as they move towards their first ever world cup hopes. New Zealand will meet Afghan blue tigers on Wednesday, which will be a good opportunity for them to steady their position on top.